Talk:James Dean/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Proposal for this article

DAP388 rewrite

In summer 2012, User:DAP388 prepared a new version of this article in a sandbox. When he tried to publish the draft, it was reverted and met with some objection from other editors. I considered this a big shame since, in my opinion, his version has a far better structure and weighting of material, and is fully sourced. So, with DAP's permission, I am starting a "campaign" to get this version instated in the article. It isn't finished yet, and there are several issues that I would raise with DAP myself if we are to go ahead (mostly over the "Personal life" section, which is actually reorganised material from the current article and I imagine he's planning to change it anyway?), but it gives a good idea of what the article would be like. If people prefer, we can have a discussion about what to include/not to include, etc, before putting it in the article. We can try and come up with something we're all happy with. If other users are on board, I promise to go through and give it a copy edit (there were requests for this at the time). And anyone else who'd like to help would obviously be very welcome.

So what do we think? --Loeba (talk) 18:18, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

I've also been thinking that it's a shame that a lot of that content was not added to this article. I'm fine with that version, except for the issues that need to be taken care of before it replaces the current version of this article. Those issues were addressed in the discussion about DAP388's proposal that took place at this talk page, now archived at Talk:James Dean/Archive 2#Recent article revision from sandbox. And I still contend that speculation/debate about Dean's sexual orientation/sexuality should not be in the Personal life section. So I would move that text to the place it's supposed to be in, similar to where it is in this article. There are also likely parts of DAP388's proposal that need to be updated with parts from this article. But I see that DAP388 has been doing more work on his version of the article very recently. Flyer22 (talk) 18:30, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I posted on his talk page a couple of days ago, so that's why he's started working on the draft again. The main issue raised back then seems to have been prose, and I agree that there are some problems with tone and wordiness. But this can, and will, be fixed. As for the debated sexuality, well....I definitely don't think it's something that we should dwell on too much, wherever it goes, but it seems to me that it would be appropriate to mention it in both his "Personal life" and "Legacy" sections. It wouldn't make sense to leave it out of personal life altogether, but it should also be mentioned when his legacy as a gay icon is discussed. How about that?
Alternatively (this just occurred to me, after typing that), we could pass over a "Personal life" section altogether (especially if we're having a "Biography" heading, which implies this information is in there) but have a stand alone "Public image", or "Public image and reception" section. The sexuality speculation could comfortably be included in there. How about that?
Anyway, I'm glad that you are open to this :) --Loeba (talk) 18:48, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm still at a dead end on how to incorporate his purported sexual orientation into the article, if at all. You could probably tell that I used Katharine Hepburn as the main template for the James Dean article, so forgive me for the confusion. I haven't touched that section at all really, and I've mainly devoted my time to researching his life and legacy. Perhaps it could be removed entirely or a new article could be created concerning that entire debate, along with the "curse" of his Little Bastard car (to me, it trails completely off of Dean himself and concerns more about the car than his actually legacy). Right now, I'll probably have to invest in some other Dean biographies to introduce some other perspectives apart from Perry's own, but if you do happen to have some other biographies, then I encourage you to make some adjustments to the draft. :)
Also, perhaps we could add some parts of the draft to the main article. —DAP388 (talk) 19:03, 17October 2013 (UTC)
Loeba, with regard to mentioning the speculation/debate in his Personal life section, I'm not sure what you'd want about that mentioned there, but we obviously should not have much redundancy in both sections. And, still, it's claims/speculation/debate; I don't feel that it should be in his Personal life section as though it was ever publicly confirmed, other than by those making the claims/speculations, as being a part of Dean's personal life. So I can't agree to it being in that section.
As for your alternative proposal: I'd be fine with that, but it might not be best to design his biography similar to a musical artist biography. See this discussion for the general stylistic difference between actor biographies and musical artist biographies on Wikipedia (if you aren't already aware of that difference). However, if we were to have a format for this article that is similar to a musical artist biography, I'd want the "Debated sexual orientation" heading to remain; a subsection is warranted for that material and the heading helps readers find that material. Flyer22 (talk) 19:11, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
DAP388, given that Dean is a gay icon and his sexual orientation is highly debated, of course that material should go in this article. In the aforementioned discussion, I already went over the importance of that information with regard to his legacy. And there is no need to create a different article for it. Per WP:Content fork, we should strive to keep aspects of a topic in one article instead of causing readers to go to multiple articles, unless necessary. There is no WP:SIZE issue here. Flyer22 (talk) 19:16, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
The more I think about it, the more a "Personal life" section for Dean seems unnecessary. I can't claim to know much about him, but reading over the current section, it basically reads like trivia...none of the relationships are notable enough that they need mentioning. I'm surprised that you think having a "Public image", or similar, section is exclusive to musician articles. If you look at the most recent actors FAs, its becoming quite standard to have some sort of section that summarises their screen persona and/or public image, and their approach to acting (see Peter Sellers, Terry-Thomas, Katharine Hepburn, Julianne Moore, Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone). Which is entirely a good thing - there's no reason musician and writer articles should be expected to have a discussion on their style and technique, but not actors. Anyway, I personally wouldn't mind "Debated sexuality" having it's own subheading within a "Public image" section (which would also discuss his rebel persona, I imagine, and how he dealt with fame..things like that). But I do think it could be summarised a bit more effectively/succinctly than it is at the moment. --Loeba (talk) 19:41, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
No, I don't think that a Public image section, or similar, is exclusive to musician articles. After all, the discussion I linked to above with regard comparing the general stylistic difference between actor biographies and musical artist biographies on Wikipedia is on the Angelina Jolie talk page...and that article has an "In the media" section. I'm quite familiar with the fact that a lot of our actor articles, especially the WP:GAs and WP:FAs, have a section about how the public has perceived the actor. What I meant by "the general stylistic difference between actor biographies and musical artist biographies on Wikipedia" should be clear from what is stated in that discussion on Angelina Jolie's talk page, starting with Prayer for the wild at heart's comment. As for Dean's relationships, I don't consider including them any more trivial than the relationships that we include in the Personal life section of WP:Biographies of living persons. But at least you and I seem to be mostly on the same level with regard to these matters. Flyer22 (talk) 19:56, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Ohh I understand what you meant now, you meant that having one "Biography" section might not be a good idea. Sorry, I completely misunderstood there. Well I always see this as dependent on the individual - I don't really think it should come down to whether they are an actor or a singer or whatever (I actually find it quite strange that this "divide" has developed? Why does it make more sense to blur together personal and career info for a musician? I'm not challenging you personally on this, it's just a general question, something I've never understood) I favour having a separate personal life section when possible, so that people looking for that information can access it easily, but sometimes there is too much overlap between the personal and professional and there's no point separating them. Or in this case, there just may not be enough material to bother. It's not something I feel strongly about though - like I said, I like personal life sections. But if we do have one, then I think the other material should be put under a "Career" heading, to make clear that it's only talking about this. --Loeba (talk) 20:28, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
You're forgiven for the misunderstanding, as long as you forgive me, LOL; by that, I mean that I should have been clearer instead of only pointing you to a discussion. But I thought that you'd easily know what I meant since you spoke of "pass[ing] over a 'Personal life' section altogether (especially if we're having a 'Biography' heading, which implies this information is in there)." As shown in that section on the Angelina Jolie talk page, we could also use "Life and career." I'm not sure either how the noted division between actor biographies and musical artist biographies happened. Flyer22 (talk) 20:44, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I was the editor who reverted User:DAP388's original rewrite. If you read the discussion in the archives [[1]] of this talk page you will find my objections clearly stated.
First, no editor should unilaterally nuke all the previous work of other editors without discussion and consensus. It should not even be necessary to remind people of this. I don't think it was a shame at all that DAP388's work was rejected, because his original rewrite as submitted was full of gross errors of fact: for instance, repeatedly calling James Dean's father "Winston", rather than "Winton", and writing that his mother was a pharmacist, which she was not.
Also, the bulk of his rewrite follows the structure of the book James Dean by George Perry entirely too closely, and reads, as I said before, like a paraphrased synopsis of Perry's work. It seems to have been composed in some haste, as well. It would seem that DAP388 is recruiting editors to press this campaign, which I would assert is ill-founded.
Lest anyone think I have unfairly jumped the gun here, I contributed substantial editing to the subsequent version of his rewrite, correcting these gross errors, as anyone can see by looking at its own page history. After plowing through the first part of his rewrite, I gave up editing it because the effort required too many contortions to fix its frequent awkward phrasing, which arose in the first place by his attempts to paraphrase Perry's words.
Having read and contributed to the proposed rewrite, I am most definitely not on board with replacing the present article with this inferior substitution. Carlstak (talk) 19:05, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I already agreed at the time that DAP shouldn't have instated his version without any warning, and I'm sure he knows that now. That isn't up for discussion. And that's why I'm seeking consensus this time round. He has not been recruiting editors: just look at his talk page and you'll see that I took the initiative. Look at my talk page, and you'll see that I volunteered to make this post.
I don't see how it is a problem to follow the structure of Perry's autobio? As long as it is paraphrased, it's fine. Why on earth does the structure need to be different? I don't really see how it could be anyway, when we're trying to write an accurate chronology of his life without any original research...As for there being some errors, that is regrettable, but between you and DAP I imagine they could all be caught quite easily? I have already said that I will go through the prose, so you don't need to worry about that. I'm amazed that you consider the current article superior, when it goes into way too much detail about his death, racing career, sexuality, unimportant relationships, and silly curses, with nowhere near enough content on his acting...And there's just no sense of cohesion to it. It even prompted a reader to come here and complain about how bad it is just three months ago. Basically, neither version is perfect, but it is clear to me that's DAP's will be far easier to improve and is much closer to the ideal. --Loeba (talk) 19:24, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
In support of that, I'd opt to at least revise the lead sentence to better reflect the weight of the material in the bio.
Currently: James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American actor.
Alternate: James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American amateur race-car driver, a heterosexual gay icon, and a movie actor, most notable for dying in a car crash at an early age. --Light show (talk) 21:22, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Lee Raskin edits

I am just making a general statement here because I participated in the previous discussion and had agreed with Carlstak. I reiterate my previously made point that Lee Raskin aka PorshaBoy, an expert on James Dean, had contributed extensively to the previous version and I would not feel comfortable with a version which does not include his contributions. In more general terms I am not a big fan of WP:DYNAMITE, especially for established articles with many contributors, and I think this longstanding article is not so bad that it needs a rewrite from scratch. There is a lot of good information currently present which needs to be preserved starting with Raskin's. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 21:12, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Amen. Any serious encyclopedic treatment of the subject "James Dean" should consider all aspects of such an iconic figure in American culture, whose persona, real and synthetic, encompasses much more than the mere young man whose acting career was cut tragically short. Dean, as an actor, was really not very accomplished in terms of output. Also, his "death and sexuality" are the very aspects of James Dean, the icon, that are still most resonant, worldwide.
A certain faction doesn't like the article as it stands, and their enthusiasm for destroying the work of all the editors who've contributed to this article, without even considering a less wholesale approach, is what grates about this campaign. It would be a crime to obliterate Lee Raskin's expert assessment of Dean's racing career—he is the authority on the subject (one quite important to Dean himself), having written the most well-researched book on it. Carlstak (talk) 21:50, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Well I personally think the "dynamite" approach is often the only way to give an article real flow and cohesion. The fact that "anyone can edit wikipedia" is great and all, but I doubt if any of our high quality article resulted from multiple editors working on it over a long period of time. It requires one or two editors to take the reigns and carefully plan and author the article. As for Raskin, it's a shame that this "Dean expert" couldn't have worked on his entire article, instead of writing extremely detailed summaries of his death and racing career that far exceed the requirements of an encyclopedia...I wonder if "Death of James Dean" would actually qualify as its own article? Then we could break off the current "Death" and "Curse of the little bastard" sections, meaning Raskin's work isn't watsed, and anyone who wants every minute detail of his death can find it, and then we could have much briefer summaries on his main article. So it would work similarly to our article on John Lennon. --Loeba (talk) 06:50, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
It slays me that your faction has shown such utter contempt for the editors who've contributed to this article, and that you should put scare quotes around the words "Dean expert", considering that the venerable old master of the subject who wants to "take the reins", as you say, is all of sixteen or seventeen years old.
Let's not forget that this whole affair started when DAP388 suddenly, with no warning or discussion on the talk page, unilaterally nuked the whole article and replaced it with his poorly edited substitute replete with errors of fact and tortuous phrasing. He then reacted with shock and dismay when I reverted it, and reverted my reversion, completely oblivious to the concerns of other editors, and apparently unconscious that he was doing the very thing I did to the work of one (poorly prepared) editor, to the work of dozens. I can hardly think of a more presumptuous or immature approach to getting what you want.
Given the aggressive efforts of DAP388 and his supporters to destroy a long-standing article that has evolved over many years, and, whatever its faults, is superior to the sophomoric (..."critics adored"...) replacement proffered, it's hard not to conclude that this dubious enterprise is ego-driven. The all-or-nothing approach, with no quarter for compromise, reminds me of the recent antics of the Tea Party faction in the US House of Representatives. Carlstak (talk) 12:45, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
"All or nothing"? "Aggressive"? I'm sorry, but that's completely unreasonable. Did I not say "we can try and come up with something we're all happy with"? Did I not agree to Flyer's request that we keep a "Debated sexuality" section and try and come to a compromise over this issue? Just this morning, did I not make a suggestion that would allow us to keep the Raskin contributions? If people didn't like that idea, the next thing I was going to say was "Let's keep his death section, but trim it down a bit." Believe it or not this really wasn't some glory-hunting campaign, and I don't even have any sort of association with DAP. I just genuinely felt like there was an opportunity to develop a high-quality article for a classic film actor, which is always something I like to see, so decided to give it a go. But it sounds like it's going to be way too difficult, and I don't like arguing. So it's probably not worth it. I think this is really unfortunate, but oh well. Can the acting sections at least be replaced? You cannot deny that DAP's has more information and is fully sourced, unlike at present. --Loeba (talk) 15:54, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your considered reply. I was about to remove these last comments of mine, as upon reflection, I could see that they are too personal, and that I should stay focused on the article. I am certainly open to changes; I just had an emotional response to what seemed like a resurrected assault on the integrity of a not-so-bad article. I would suggest that the acting section of DAP's sandbox article still needs work. For example, perhaps a better way to say "particularly brandish" could be found. There are some other, not insurmountable issues, that should be addressed, in my opinion.I don't have time right now to work on it, but should be able to later today. May I say that Dr.K is a wise arbiter—he might have some suggestions as well. I am sure that an amicable compromise can be worked out, with a bit of effort. Carlstak (talk) 16:26, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Per Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Own comments, if the comments are to be amended, I would rather them be struck through than removed; removing them would take Loeba's comments out of context. In short, her replies to you would be confusing. Flyer22 (talk) 16:33, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
My God, these negotiations are going to consume my life.;-) I have no intention of removing these comments now, that's what I meant by "I was about to...". Carlstak (talk) 17:45, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I have said twice that I am willing to do a thorough copyedit, so please stop bringing the prose up as an issue. I just didn't want to start the work until I knew we had some agreement (in case it ended up being a waste of time). If you'd rather this was done in the sandbox before being published in the article, that's fine. Thank you for being open to a compromise. --Loeba (talk) 16:42, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
And by the way, putting "Dean expert" in quotation marks really wasn't meant to be snarky. I was just quoting directly because I haven't heard of him. I do maintain that it's unfortunate he put all his efforts into the death and racing sections, while neglecting the rest of the article (resulting in a poor balance), but I certainly didn't mean to show "contempt". --Loeba (talk) 16:58, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
All the edits you're talking about should absolutely be done in the sandbox. As DAP said, his version of the article is a rough draft and in its infancy. We agree the prose needs work, and I did say that when I get time, I'll contribute, since I've already done some of that. Any of these changes shouldn't be put on the main page till we have a consensus, and all judgements on the quality on the prose are withheld till we actually see them. I will be making substantial changes to what's in the sandbox. Carlstak (talk) 17:45, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Yikes..... this is still a rough draft in its infancy. Everyone can chime in and make improvements, and if you feel that my efforts are subpar to the current main article, then by all means make the effort and contribute. I encourage it. Otherwise, making absurd accusations about how this project is nothing but a concerted, "ego-driven" conspiracy does nothing to validate your cause. —DAP388 (talk) 15:56, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. As you know, I have already contributed time and effort to your version, which I would not have bothered with if I thought it was "nothing but a concerted, "ego-driven" conspiracy". See above. I wish you only the best. Carlstak (talk) 16:26, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Regarding Loeba's comment above, "Well I personally think the "dynamite" approach is often the only way to give an article real flow and cohesion," I'd have to agree. Not that DAP's version is perfect, far from it, but it keeps the article balanced and is more of a "biography," as opposed to the current version, which is more of a pop culture mythography, with acting only secondary.
The current version seems to have three main divisions: Early life (6% word count); Acting career (15%); and Relationships - race cars - death - iconic status (78%). DAP version is more balanced: Early life (11%); Career related sections (36%); personal life, death - cars - icon - non-acting legacy, (54%). Just from the standpoint of usefulness to the average reader wanting to read his biography, the current version fails miserably and should be nuked, IMO. The DAP version is much better, but I'd still trim the non-acting material down to around 33%. There's a ton of good material about Dean, the man and actor, as opposed to Dean, the fast-driving, car-loving sex symbol, that can be added later. --Light show (talk) 19:07, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Given that, as noted above, Dean has been significantly bigger in death than in life and mostly for the non-acting aspects, it's not odd that the article doesn't focus more on his acting career; his acting career, his life, was cut short. But I would prefer some more balance as well. Flyer22 (talk) 19:14, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, if most agree that his legendary status has become more important than his acting skills, then the article, despite its lengthy text and minutia, raises questions. Assuming the average reader is not that aware of this legend, and may not have even seen his few movies, the reader would soon wonder what made him a legend. After all, with only a few career paragraphs about Dean and mostly about the films, not him, there's no way to understand the connection or transition from actor to legend. And having a full section devoted to his Little Bastard race car that is twice the length of the entire "Career" section, is totally ridiculous and embarrassing for this bio. --Light show (talk) 21:08, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm thinking that the solution to the issue of undue weight given in the article to The Little Bastard race car section is to move to its own article, leaving a summary of Raskin's work in its place. His critique is an important commentary on a part of the James Dean mythos that has been distorted and exaggerated into something that doesn't correspond with the known facts. Carlstak (talk) 23:30, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Regarding this edit you made, how do we know that the "curse" of Little Bastard topic is notable enough for its own article? How does it deserve its own article, taking WP:Spinout into account? I see how Dean's death deserves its own article, but not the "curse" of Little Bastard topic. Better for it to be covered in this article, even as only a summary, than to be made into a stub article that likely shouldn't be an article. Flyer22 (talk) 23:53, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that's much of a problem. Supposing that the "Curse" article is not notable enough, it can be converted into the "Death" article by including more details. In any case the excess information would be preserved inside a new article. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:15, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, the article has been proposed for deletion as original research, which may well be justified. I concur with Dr.K's suggestion to convert it into the "Death" article. I believe that if it is reworked as he suggests, by an editor other than Lee Raskin, it will no longer be considered "original research". Carlstak (talk) 03:09, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree as per my reply below. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 03:28, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Despite my use of "stub" above, the article likely is not a WP:Stub. And, Dr.K., good points about the creation of that article (some of the references used to support it are clearly about Dean's death, for example). Flyer22 (talk) 00:43, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Actually, you were the one who made the good point about the "Death" article Flyer. I just expanded on your idea. :) Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:50, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Carlstak, with regard to that now-removed prod, original research isn't about what editor added the matter. See WP:Original research. Flyer22 (talk) 03:44, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I know. Since Raskin wrote the material, it's self-referential to his own research. If I use his work to create a new work, with the results of his research as references, it should not meet the criteria of original research. He is himself a reliable, published source, and references to his work are still directly related to the topic of the article, and directly support the material being presented. Carlstak (talk) 04:08, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Racing career?

The article's first three main sections are "Early life," "Acting career" and "Racing career . . . ". Is there any support for calling his love of racing sports cars a "career?" Entering an amateur race would put it in the category of a hobby. Note that Steve McQueen, another star who succeeded early on, took on the "hobby" of racing motorcycles, and it has a nice summary of that hobby in a compact section. Had he died in an accident, the section would have been a bit longer, I assume.

Now that the Little Bastard is parked on a separate lot, the same treatment could easily work for the "Accident" section. At over 1,400 words, it could be condensed to about 400 to balance the article. It now reads like a combinded police report and a court transcript. If it belongs anywhere, it would fit better in the separate Curse article. FWIW, I think sensationalizing the car's article by using the word "curse" in the title is a mistake, since some movie writer will read it and turn it into a horror film. --Light show (talk) 02:55, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

I agree that moving the accident into the "Curse" article would be a good option. The whole article could then be renamed and become the "Death" article. That would further strengthen the article which was prodded recently and I deprodded it due to the ongoing discussion. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 03:27, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I actually suggested making a "Death of James Dean" article yesterday morning, but maybe it got lost in the crowd. I think this is a good solution. It should include all of the "Racing career", "Death", and "Curse" sections that were written by Raskin, and then on the main article we can have something far more succinct, similar to DAP's version. --Loeba (talk) 11:48, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Sorry for missing your idea, but when the discussion becomes too long I skim through some parts. :) Thank you in any case. My thanks also go to the rest of the editors for making this discussion so interesting, productive and agreeable. Best regards to all. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 16:01, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Right, I have been WP:BOLD and moved the curse article to Death of James Dean. The racing career and death sections that were here have been moved to that article, and replaced with some of the material that DAP put together (which I gave a quick copyedit beforehand). Feel free to make any changes/suggestions. I'm hoping that eventually we can include the information about the critical response to his posthumous roles, but that only makes sense within the structure of DAP's version. --Loeba (talk) 10:34, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Moving the material has definitely improved the balance of the article, IMO, and leaves room to expand on his career as an influential actor. --Light show (talk) 19:08, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Personal life

I'd like to move his relationships material along with the other sex-related stuff into a new "Personal life" section since they're obviously related. If editors feel that the so-called "debate" about his sexuality is actually a key aspect of his "Legacy," then that can be commented on. But as the 1st lead sentence defines him as being noted for being an "actor," there might be some confusion in having his legacy mostly related to his non-acting, after-hours life. --Light show (talk) 19:08, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

The only thing I agree to with regard to the personal life and debated sexual orientation material is what I stated in the #DAP388 rewrite section. I don't believe that claims/speculation/debate about Dean's sexual orientation should be placed under a Personal life heading about him as though those things were ever publicly confirmed, other than by those making the claims/speculations, as being a part of his personal life. Why would you make this edit, given the debate on the talk page about this, and your previous assertions, as seen here and here, that these matters are not confirmed facts, or your assertion in the DAP388 rewrite section that Dean is heterosexual (when suggesting we call him a "heterosexual gay icon")? Furthermore, his debated sexual orientation is a key aspect of his legacy, and that material shouldn't be in the Personal life section and in the Legacy section.
As for the lead, that should be expanded with regard to his legacy, giving WP:Due weight to these aspects; the aspects reported as being the biggest contributors to his legacy should be given the most weight. Flyer22 (talk) 19:31, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
You haven't responded to anything I questioned about the Legacy. On the contrary, you seem to be ignoring it totally, and ignoring the fact that this is still a biography about an actor. Have you actually added anything to this article about his acting? I personally don't understand how anyone can turn a so-called after-death "debate" about aspects relating to anyone's private life into their "Legacy" as an actor. Attempting to do so is simply devaluing his real life's contributions by turning the article into a mythography under cover of his legacy.
FYI: Legacy - noun (plural) -cies, "a gift by will, esp of money or personal property," "something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor." --Light show (talk) 19:53, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what you are talking about and I don't have the patience for your combative tactics. As for the legacy matter, others above (and various WP:Reliable sources) echo my sentiments with regard to the debate about Dean's sexual orientation being a part of his legacy; no one stated anything about it being a part of his legacy as an actor. Additionally, the definitions of legacy that you cite are not what legacy is restricted to, which is evident by the many Legacy sections on Wikipedia. Flyer22 (talk) 20:16, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
And FYI: If your question of "Have you actually added anything to this article about his acting?" is intended to imply that I've mostly added material about his debated sexual orientation, that implication is wrong; I have tweaked that section, as well as having tweaked other parts of this article. And it is not as though you have yet significantly contributed to this article either. Flyer22 (talk) 20:22, 20 October 2013‎ (UTC)
I'm not sure if an important actor's legacy and article should be undermined by any editor's personal "sentiments with regard to the debate about Dean's sexual orientation." That implies an agenda, which you alluded to by erroneously categorizing Dean. Almost every major and minor actor has personal life details which people debate about, of the Hollywood Babylon variety. The fact that people still debate about how Marilyn Monroe or Natalie Wood died or who they slept with does not make it part of their legacy, any more than a love of drugs by Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, or Jim Morrison, which eventually killed them, adds to their legacy.
Dean's Legacy section actually has little relating to his legacy, and includes mostly trivia about his name being mentioned on recent TV shows or in songs. Those factoids belong in another section. If they were put in another more relevant section, then his "Legacy" would be about a "debate." And clearly this "debate" about who he may have slept with, male or female, which is already half of the Legacy section, would belong somewhere else, IMO. --Light show (talk) 21:09, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I have no agenda with regard to Dean's sexual orientation, unless one were to state that my agenda has been, and still is, to keep people from assigning a sexual orientation label to Dean (whether heterosexual, gay or bisexual) in this article (which I have done for years) because his sexual orientation has never been publicly confirmed by him and is highly debated. I look at this matter as if he were alive; if he were alive, per WP:BLP, we (those of us who understand and adhere to WP:BLP) would not be assigning a sexual orientation label to him unless he has confirmed that label as applying to himself. I don't feel that it should be any different simply because he is dead. Unlike you, I and others involved in these recent discussions have not tried to assign a sexual orientation label to Dean; so if there is any agenda here with regard to his sexual orientation, it is most likely yours...not ours.
Adding Dean to the LGBT category is not assigning a sexual orientation label to him, as is clear from this discussion at the Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality talk page, previous discussion at that talk page and previous discussions at the WP:LGBT talk page. I left Dean in that category (not added him to it) years ago for reasons shown at Talk:James Dean/Archive 2#Category:Bisexual actors? and by the aforementioned (and linked) hidden note: "[H]e is not placed in the gay or bisexual category because his sexual orientation is highly debated and is not publicly confirmed. He was left in the LGBT category as an alternative because he is a significant LGBT figure who has been written about substantially with regard to possibly being gay or bisexual." And considering your actions in this case at the Greta Garbo article in addition to having removed the LGBT category from this article, I suspect that there is something about LGBT that makes you uneasy...unless you are simply like me in not wanting to definitively report someone's sexual history and/or sexual orientation when those matters are not clear. You are the only one here asserting that "Dean's legacy and article [are being undermined by editors'] personal 'sentiments with regard to the debate about Dean's sexual orientation.'" However, it is not undermining a thing to label and discuss his sexuality/debated sexual orientation as being a part of his legacy, and you won't convince me otherwise. Unlike the examples you gave, there is not as much significant debate about those actors' sexualities/sexual orientations as there is about Dean's, if any all; nor are they cited as gay icons as extensively as Dean is, if at all. I've already made my feelings on this matter known; no need to repeat myself. The only things we seem to agree on with regard to this matter is to not definitively call Dean gay or bisexual and that the Legacy section needs to be better formatted. But the Legacy section, as noted in the first section of this discussion, is already going to be significantly fixed up. Flyer22 (talk) 21:59, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, your reply at least supports my inference about an agenda, nearly soapish, due to your overweighted emphasis on a "debate" to fill his legacy with innuendos about Dean. The best you can do is simply evade the topic of the bio by asking, "I suspect that there is something about LGBT that makes you uneasy." But since you made an effort to find some comments I added to Garbo's talk page, you should also explain why you think those comments in any way relate to this discussion. BTW, your Garbo link points to comments by two other editors, not me.
You re-categorized Dean as LGBT, despite the fact that, as you explained, "his sexual orientation is highly debated and is not publicly confirmed." No one doubts what his closest friend, William Bast, wrote, "that their friendship had included some sexual intimacy. . . Jimmy was a dabbler, he was learning through experiment . . . But to say he was gay? That's ridiculous." Actually, as his confirmed personal relationships shows, he was not shy about womanizing at every opportunity. The section doesn't even include most of his other girlfriends from New York or his home town. Need a list? Unfortunately, this isn't the only star bio who's Legacy section has been misused to turn them into a gay icon. Even Judy Garland's Legacy is, like Dean's, half gay icon material, supported by irrelevant trivia, yet similarly undermining her legacy as a singer and actress. --Light show (talk) 23:30, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
My "21:59, 20 October 2013 (UTC)" reply supports nothing you have asserted about me. I have provided no "overweighted emphasis on a 'debate'" (try not to link to a policy as important as WP:Due weight unless you are using it appropriately, by the way; in the case used above, you most certainly are not). And I'm not evading "the topic of the bio." In the "Talk:James Dean/Archive 2#Category:Bisexual actors?" discussion, it was me asserting that Dean has not been confirmed by Dean himself as being gay or bisexual, and that we should therefore not categorize him as either; it was me who stated, "I left him in Category:LGBT people from the United States due to his being a LGBT figure and there being so many accounts that he is a part of that group (a combination of both, as opposed to listing him as bisexual simply based on 'confirmation' from a friend and speculation). But, even so, I am not sure if I should leave him in that category." It is me who has consistently kept editors from categorizing Dean as gay or bisexual in this article. Reverting your removal of a long-standing addition was reverting someone's else addition, and the reasons have been thoroughly pointed out above. I care not that you call it re-categorizing. It was done for a valid reason, in addition to being a compromise concerning those editors who have or would tried to add Dean to the gay or bisexual category; if a debate, by a reasonable compromise, can avoid being consistently repeated, then that is what I go for.
Asserting that I have an agenda for having reverted you on the LGBT category is ridiculous; like I stated, my only agenda with regard to Dean's sexual orientation is what has been shown by my edits concerning that matter for years. And my Garbo link points to a discussion that you participated in; I used that link because talk page discussions are routinely archived and I want that discussion permanently linked on this talk page; as for why it's relevant to this discussion: For the same reason as your celebrity examples; it is a similar matter, and one that shows your mindset on such matters. Your "a section about their sexuality and/or them being a gay icon, especially in the Legacy section, undermines their legacy as an actor, singer, etc." rationale makes no sense to me. As for Bast stating that Dean was not gay, there are apparently conflicting comments from Bast regarding that; this was the original text before it was changed by an editor in September. He also made this edit soon afterward. Then I tweaked the changes, as seen here and here. That editor then thanked me via WP:Echo.
It would be better if we wait and let others weigh in on these matters now, if they have anything more to state about them, since you and I clearly are not going to fully agree on them. Flyer22 (talk) 00:39, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Maybe it would be better if you stopped playing shrink, using unsubtle comments to hopefully smear another editor in your effort to defend your points: "I suspect that there is something about LGBT that makes you uneasy," and now, "that shows your mindset on such matters." What's next, calling an editor "homophobic," the old standby, as a last resort to attack an editor and avoid the actual subject being discussed? Comments like those are against all guidelines, as is your continual attempt to personalize a discussion. The implied "agenda" in your comments simply concerns your obsessive focus on the talk pages to one topic, resulting in harm to the article. The reference to undue weight is totally appropriate. --Light show (talk) 01:34, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Like I stated above, "I don't have the patience for your combative tactics." (Though I've given enough patience regarding them already.) and "I've already made my feelings on [these matters] known; no need to repeat myself." Oh, and, nope, I don't need to be reminded of WP:Assume good faith. Accusing me of personalizing this discussion, given your initial comment to me, and then your absurd "Oh, you've got a LGBT agenda" followup comment, above about this topic, is silly. But then again, you've proven before that you have a skewed definition of personalizing. Furthermore, there has been no "obsessive focus on the talk pages to one topic" with regard to me, and I have not "[harmed] the article." You should WP:Drop the stick and stop playing WP:BAIT. Now go ahead and get the last word, as you so clearly desire. Flyer22 (talk) 02:10, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Well if the heading is "Debated sexual orientation", that does make clear that he wasn't definitely gay/bisexual, so it's not that bad or misleading to include it in "Personal life"...and when it comes down to it, it is a debate about his personal life. It seems like the most obvious place to put it to me (unless we do manage to put together a "Public image" section). I've always found it a bit strange to have it under Legacy. I get what Flyer is saying about it being related to his gay icon status, but...I still think it's more relevant to a discussion about his personal life. Then under "Legacy" we can quickly refer to it, ie, "Dean is considered a gay icon, despite the uncertainty over his sexuality..." --Loeba (talk) 18:09, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

During my replies to Light show about this, I considered that I was being a little strict/stubborn by insisting the "Debated sexual orientation" section should stay out of the Personal life section; like you, Loeba, I considered that the "Debated sexual orientation" heading makes clear the "not definitely gay/bisexual" matter. So I could be okay with that setup. Flyer22 (talk) 19:26, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Sentence needs correction

This sentence in the first section does not make sense. I am not sure what the author was trying to say - "Dean's enduring fame and popularity rest on his performances in only these three films, all leading roles." Gavin (talk) 03:16, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Death section

Not directly related to the topic under discussion here, but since the talk page is active again... I was actually thinking about this article recently, I haven't forgotten it. I still think it's a great shame that we're not making use of DAP's version, and I still intend to copyedit it. It just happens that after the discussion above, I went through a month or so of not feeling like editing much, and then became busy with other projects. But I may well start going through the sandbox tonight (I think we were at least under agreement that we should use DAP's "career" material?) And I'm a bit annoyed that the overly detailed "accident" section was added back (twice), even though this longer version is available on the Death of James Dean article...I think I'm going to leave a message on PorshaBoyLee's talk page, since it seems that he didn't look at the discussion here or read my edit summary explaining the change... --Loeba (talk) 10:51, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Loeba, it might be best that you start a WP:RfC about this matter since it's already been extensively discussed among the editors of this article and the discussion has stalled each time. Flyer22 (talk) 03:11, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I thought there was agreement that the career stuff could be used as long as it is copy edited beforehand? At least it means everything will be fully sourced, unlike at present. As for the death section, that had already been changed without objection since the longer stuff from PorshaBoy was persevered in Death of James Dean, but then PorshaBoy added it back... The main objections that I recall were 1) We shouldn't get rid of PorshaBoy's material, but then we solved that issue, and 2) it has to be copy edited and checked for accuracy before being transferred to the article. We still weren't sure how to deal with personal life and legacy stuff, maybe that will never be resolved, but for now I'm just suggesting working on his career, maybe early life and the lead as well... --Loeba (talk) 21:29, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm fine with that. I would state that you should ping (WP:Echo) the other editors who were involved in the discussions to see if they are fine with it as well, but they are watching this article. Perhaps if one or more of them are not currently active (by "active," I mean editing daily) on Wikipedia, you should ping them in that case; they might even have their ping set up to get an email notification about it. Flyer22 (talk) 21:53, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Would I be right in thinking that the flurry of "source adding" activity last night was an effort to avoid any changes being made to the page? --Loeba (talk) 18:14, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

You made a comment about the comparative lack of sourcing in this article, so I added several sources. Look at my contributions history and observe my pattern of "flurries" of activity. The article can definitely use more sources. Why don't you add some? Carlstak (talk) 01:23, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Well I was hoping to make use of the already fully-sourced version in DAP's sandbox after copy-editing it, but I give up on this article: there's just too much resistance. --Loeba (talk) 13:11, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Loeba, I obviously agree that a lot of that material should be in this article. And I'm not the only one. And there is also the WP:RfC option. You should be WP:Bold and introduce the aspects that are not likely to be contentious. Flyer22 (talk) 13:29, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Out of DAP's 136 notes, 55 of them refer to the James Dean estate-authorized George Perry book, which is cited 102 times. Carlstak (talk) 14:21, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
IMO the article is seriously malformed and imbalanced. The lead defines his notability as an "actor", yet the article is only 25% devoted to his acting career. Another 22% is devoted to his personal life, mostly his girlfriends. Some 28% is about his death driving his hobby race car, which the article mis-labels as his "racing career." Another 23% is for his legacy as an icon and as a topic of other people's sex "debates," with over a million RSs for support. The article would make Hedda Hopper and Kenneth Anger, author of Hollywood Babylon, proud. In any case, it needs some serious work. --Light show (talk) 20:24, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
The legacy of James Dean encompasses a lot more than just his acting career; he is a cultural icon of rebellion against the "system", an androgynous sex symbol, and the mastermind of one of the most affective collections of photographs ever assembled. That proportion of emphasis on various aspects of his life is not unbalanced. Carlstak (talk) 00:46, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
We should definitely keep in mind that Dean had a brief acting career. From what I generally see in sources about him, his post-death fame has a lot more to do with his cultural icon status than his acting. Flyer22 (talk) 02:44, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
However, as the lead makes clear, along with the first paragraph on his "Impact on culture and media," the particular roles he acted in and his particular style of acting are the essence of this iconic status. He didn't write the stories or his script. They had nothing to do with his real personality. Even the director who discovered him, Elia Kazan, wrote about Dean's reaction to first seeing himself on the screen: "Dean himself did not seem to believe it. He watched himself with an odd, almost adolescent fascination, as if he were admiring someone else." So by ignoring his skill and training as an actor, in preference for turning him into a brand-name post-death iconic product of the "Dream factory," we're actually undermining his bio, IMO.--Light show (talk) 04:08, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
"He didn't write the stories or his script. They had nothing to do with his real personality." Surely you jest. Kazan chose Dean because he thought the young actor's moody and rebellious demeanor fit the part of Cal Trask perfectly; John Steinbeck met Dean at Kazan's instigation, and according to the book James Dean: Dream as If You'll Live Forever, among others, Steinbeck thought that "Dean is Cal." The very book you quote, The Making of Rebel Without a Cause, also quotes Nick Ray as saying, "To work with Dean meant exploring his nature, trying to understand it; without this, his powers of expression were frozen." Val Holley wrote in James Dean: Tribute to a Rebel: "George Stevens, director of the movie adaptation of Edna Ferber's novel Giant, did very little agonizing over who would be the best choice for the role of Jett Rink, a strange, surly, ambitious cowhand, who through a stroke of good fortune becomes an oil magnate." Carlstak (talk) 01:30, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Sexual Orientation

I tried to plow through the Talk "debate" above but it is just the same old thing as the article. Most of the discussion is just third-person opinion and gossip; just a bunch of claptrap and hearsay. And, putting opinions in quotes and citing them does not make them somehow legitimate. The whole "Debated Sexual Orientation" section is worthless, written by someone who was titillated by the prospect of discussing such a thing. Dean said he wasn't a homosexual, let it rest and stop trying to show him a liar. Legacy Schmegacy! Dangnad (talk) 02:06, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Like you noted, this has been extensively discussed above. Unlike most other celebrities, Dean's sexuality/sexual orientation makes up a significant portion of material about him. And I certainly don't mean only in this Wikipedia article; the sources come from various places, after all. While some people don't like that Dean's sexuality/sexual orientation is discussed so much in sources and that he is credited so much as a gay icon, it is a fact that, given the coverage, should be documented in some way in this article. In the above discussion, there are proposals about how to better detail the sexuality/sexual orientation/gay icon material in this article. But not only have editors not been able to agree exactly on how to present that material (though I eventually came around to the idea of having that material as part of the Personal life section), we have not come to an agreement about how to design this article as a whole. Flyer22 (talk) 02:32, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
And we certainly are not trying to show Dean to be a liar. We are only relaying what the different sources state on this matter. Flyer22 (talk) 02:37, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Significant to you only. By your own admission and from the extensive discussion this section should be removed from the article. If you don't know how to present it, then why should we or any editor? I suggest you bone up on the art of writing a biography. Read a few, you might just get the gist of it. Besides, his sexuality is not a debate. Are you kidding! It is pure gossip, does not make up a substantial portion of the material about him, and he definitely was not a 'gay icon'. Were you living at the time? If so, did you read Confidential? Must be the reason. 68.227.46.16 (talk) 03:29, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Don't tamper with my posts, like you did here before I corrected it. And if you are Dangnad, which you assuredly are (because an IP did not happen to randomly drop by), then sign in and post as Dangnad. As for the rest, already been addressed (as is clear on this talk page). There is no "by [my] own admission and from the extensive discussion this section should be removed from the article." You can argue with the abundance of WP:Reliable sources placing great significance on these aspects, including with regard to calling Dean a gay icon, but it will not change the fact that this is what those sources state. In the end, WP:Verifiability matters more than your personal belief on such matters. Now.... If you think I am going to debate this matter with you, when my views on it are already well noted above, and when you apparently cannot debate without heading right into drama and WP:Uncivil territory right off the bat, you are sorely mistaken. As for me needing to bone up on how to write a biography... Yes, tell that to the WP:GA and WP:FA biographies I helped get to those levels and help maintain; I'm not interested. Flyer22 (talk) 03:45, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I sign all my posts. That is my IP address but I don't know how it got there. It says "special:contributions" but I don't know what that means. Also I didn't tamper with your post Flyer22. I can't explain it. When I saved page yesterday it showed my usual signature. Btw that paragraph above was to be my last in this matter, I think I've said what I need to say, I'll say it again. Delete the "debate" section. Now here's my signature: Dangnad (talk) 02:58, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Aha! I know why it's an IP address, it's because I wasn't logged in to Wikipedia. Hmmm. How could that happen and not inform me when I "save(d) page". No matter, I did not tamper with anything you have written Flyer22. Final post: Take "debate" out or label it "gossip". I'm outta here. Dangnad (talk) 02:58, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Dangnad, I did consider that you might have accidentally messed with my posts. And no hard feelings about our tempers having flared on this matter; that type of thing, and accidental post tampering, happens a lot on Wikipedia. Flyer22 (talk) 03:11, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree totally with Dangnad. The fact that his closest friend wrote, "to say he was gay? That's ridiculous," makes it equally ridiculous to make other people's "debates" about it become part of his "legacy," or worthy of more than a brief mention. And it's worse than ridiculous to claim, with RS's or not, that because some gays liked a performer, then that fact should make it also overwhelm their "legacy," as it does Judy Garland's. --Light show (talk) 04:02, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
How does it overwhelm his legacy? And if you "agree totally with Dangnad," then that means your previous views on this matter have changed. Your previous views were that there is a place for such material in this article, but not in the Legacy section, and that Dean is a gay icon (except you called him a heterosexual gay icon, even though he is not on record stating that he was heterosexual and being a gay icon does not make someone gay). Flyer22 (talk) 04:09, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Oh, and as for "Dean's closest friend" (Bast), I already noted in the previous discussion that Bast has apparently contradicted himself with regard to statements on Dean's sexuality. Flyer22 (talk) 04:16, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Also, the Judy Garland bit is fine, from what I see. It's just two small paragraphs dedicated to the very real fact that she is a gay icon, before sending readers off to the main article on that. Typical WP:Summary style. Flyer22 (talk) 04:29, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Suggest merging section

The sub-section Debated sexual orientation should be merged into the article for a number of reasons: 1) The topic and text do not relate to the primary section, Legacy and iconic status. 2) The section makes a so-called "debate," or controversy, part his "legacy and iconic status" and essentially contradicts Dean himself. The result is a section which goes against Guidelines.

Dean is quoted in the section as saying, "No, I am not a homosexual." Bast, his friend and early roommate, wrote that "Jimmy was a dabbler, he was learning through experiment… But to say he was gay? That's ridiculous." The sources which support the gossip about Dean's gayness are from "Hollywood gay circles." So while the subject may be a "debate" among a limited "circle," it should not be transformed into a non-existent "controversy" section which should be devoted to his "legacy" or "iconic status." No more than a section about his numerous love affairs with starlets should be part of his "legacy." Thoughts? --Light show (talk) 17:49, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Merged into the article in what way? Spread throughout sections? That doesn't make sense. Added to his Personal life section without the "Debated sexual orientation" heading; that's not beneficial to the article. And once again, Bast has apparently contradicted himself with regard to statements on Dean's sexuality. Since you keep bringing up the "Bast said it was ridiculous to say that Dean was gay" aspect, despite the fact that he has apparently stated differently on the matter, I wonder if I should add it (the "stated differently" aspect) back to the article. And the "Debated sexual orientation" section is not going against any guideline; the link you pointed to on that matter -- Wikipedia:Criticism -- is an essay (as in not an official Wikipedia guideline); Wikipedia:Controversy sections#Avoid sections and articles focusing on criticisms or controversies. And the section in question is not accurately characterized as criticisms or a controversy. Everything else on the matter (such as the section supposedly contradicting what Dean stated, no matter the fact that he indicated bisexuality and bisexuality is also addressed in that section), we've already discussed it, as shown above. Flyer22 (talk) 18:02, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Merged in what way? Well, it could go within his "personal life" section, along with his known and confirmed relationships. As the lead states, "he was an American actor" and "cultural icon of teenage disillusionment." His legacy should relate to that, not to other people's "debates" or speculations, supported by "suggestions" from "gay Hollywood columnists" or opinions and innuendos by writers from gay publications.
Nor is it necessary to artificially inflate the text, as in "Consequently, Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon's book Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day (2001) includes an entry on James Dean," a citation which should be treated as a regular cite, not filler, assuming it actually adds anything. IMHO, what he did in his private, after-hours life, is part of his "personal life," not part of his Legacy. --Light show (talk) 18:34, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Nah, we've already been over most of this. And there is hardly anything new being stated on that matter (in these talk page discussions). Flyer22 (talk) 18:37, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
The Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon part bothered me as well today when I looked over it, and so, since we both agree that the text should not have been worded that way, I changed that bit, as seen here (with fix) afterward. Flyer22 (talk) 18:49, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
It's also obvious that the sub-section about the debate regarding his "sexual orientation" gives striking undue weight solely to speculations about gayness, as opposed to his known womanizing and heterosexuality. While the word "gay" is used 11 times in the sub-section, there is nothing even related to his recognized "orientation" toward heterosexuality. For that reason alone it should be merged. --Light show (talk) 19:05, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm very familiar with the WP:Undue weight policy, as indicated on my user page, and I don't see how WP:Undue weight applies in this case. If his heterosexuality were discussed in WP:Reliable sources to as wide of a degree as his possible homosexuality (that includes bisexuality) is, especially with regard to his legacy, then I would see the material in question as violating the WP:Undue weight policy and I would be the first one suggesting that the article address that significantly more than the homosexuality aspect. And there is indeed something in the article "related to his recognized 'orientation' toward heterosexuality" -- the Personal life section, which is quite hefty. Flyer22 (talk) 19:14, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
You're implying that while his clear "orientation" toward heterosexuality is, and belongs, to his "personal life," so-called "debates" about possible homosexuality, also part of his personal life, do not deserve a special section, and certainly not as part of his "legacy." The "debate" is whether he was "oriented" toward women or men, therefore discussing only one side of the pseudo-debate in a section, turning it into a controversy, gives undue weight to a one side and is therefore also non-neutral. In any case, none of the cited sources calls the topic a "debate," which become more of a synthesis, IMO. --Light show (talk) 20:05, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
No, I am not implying that he is heterosexual. You are. You consistently have. Dean, however, is not on public record stating that he is heterosexual. We go by what the sources state, per WP:Verifiability, and we go by WP:Due weight. The sources do not give the heterosexual aspect of his life the same degree of weight that they do the possible homosexual aspect. There is no equivalent to the debated sexual orientation aspect in that regard. None. The Debated sexual orientation section is not a special section; it is a section that exists because there are a preponderance of WP:Reliable sources that discuss the topic and it should therefore be in this article. And as for the rest, you seem to be just throwing essays and policies around and hoping that one of them sticks. Flyer22 (talk) 20:17, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Another condition? Dean, however, is not on public record stating that he is heterosexual. --Light show (talk) 20:44, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Condition? Sigh, good grief. Flyer22 (talk) 20:50, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

I also think the "Debated sexuality" section is inappropriate under Legacy. I think I've said here before that your legacy is something you leave behind for future generations - whether he was gay or not has no relevance to this, and would be far better suited to "Personal life" IMO. --Loeba (talk) 19:45, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes, we've discussed this extensively, which is also shown at Talk:James Dean/Archive 3. And we agreed on different points; for example, you stated, "I get what Flyer is saying about it being related to his gay icon status, but...I still think it's more relevant to a discussion about his personal life. Then under 'Legacy' we can quickly refer to it, ie, 'Dean is considered a gay icon, despite the uncertainty over his sexuality..."
The back and forth, and repeated, discussions on this matter are not needed; we can simply refer to past discussions about all of this. In this current case, Light show does not simply want the material placed in the Personal life section, he, from what I see, clearly wants it placed in that already hefty section but without a subheading; in other words, he wants it buried there so that it doesn't show up in the table of contents. Unless this article is going to get the much discussed overhaul (meaning not just the Debated sexual orientation section), I am not supportive of changing this bit. Flyer22 (talk) 20:08, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Why sink to bad faith accusations of agendas, quoting old comments as if they were fixed laws, or setting your own personal conditions, before other editors can improve or fix discussed problems with the article. You're implying ownership, are you not? --Light show (talk) 20:32, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
It's not bad faith to me, especially when you made as much clear by all of your comments on that section supposedly standing out. It's not "quoting old comments as if they were fixed laws"; it's commenting on old comments to show where we were, are now, and to emphasize the redundancy of those comments. And it's not WP:OWN to state that "I won't support unless..." Flyer22 (talk) 20:46, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

"Death" section needs severe trimming

The entire "Death" section needs to be edited down to a more concise summary. There is an in-depth separate article Death of James Dean which covers the same topic in excruciating detail, with better references. There is no point in duplicating it nearly verbatim here, with poorer references and the likelihood that it will be edited in divergence from the main article. All the unnecessary detail is a distraction from what should be the main focus of this article, Dean's career and legacy, not the details of his early death. Reify-tech (talk) 17:29, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

However, I won't spend the time on careful editing down, unless I hear a consensus of editors that it's worth doing. Reify-tech (talk) 17:50, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Agree. Details such as, "At approximately 5:15pm, Dean and Hickman left Blackwells Corner, driving west on Route 466 (now State Route 46) toward Paso Robles, approximately 60 miles away," sounds like part of a police report. It's also been pointed out that his race-car driving was a recreational activity, aka rich kids sport, and never part of his mislabeled "career." --Light show (talk) 20:07, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Completely agree with this - in fact, I've twice tried adding a shorter summary of Dean's accident to the article, but both times this has been reverted by User:PorshaBoy/User:PorshaBoyLee. Anyway, I'm going to be WP:BOLD and add back the short account. PorshaBoy, if you see this discussion, please appreciate that most users don't want a high level of detail about his death; and if they do, all the material you wrote is still available in the "Death of James Dean" article. You have claimed in edit summaries that the information is "erroneous" - I can't see a difference in facts, but if there is you could just make corrections to the shorter version? --Loeba (talk) 10:56, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Debated Sexual Orientation

The section ends with a quote from Bast, but one that was used in the 1974 bio "The Mutant King" and that is considerably out of date, as Bast now contends that Jimmy was, indeed, gay. At the time of the quote, Bast was still closeted.William (The Bill) Blackstone (talk) 00:38, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out. Carlstak (talk) 03:49, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
This is the content in question. As seen before that, I'd moved it up away from the end of the section. As for Bast's statement specifically, I mentioned in a discussion at this talk page earlier this year that Bast had apparently contradicted himself; as seen in that discussion, I was referring to this edit by Kurioslesouschristos, who stated, "Removed some conflicting statements yet maintaining neutral in POV." Unlike William (The Bill) Blackstone, I didn't think to consider the contradiction in relation to whether or not Bast had come out. Flyer22 (talk) 04:05, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Bast is still alive. I think you guys need a better reason than your personal opinions before claiming he intentionally lied in Dean's most significant bio, and deleting his direct quote. --Light show (talk) 05:45, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm certainly not saying he lied; the quote was out of context. As I noted in the summary of my edit, the quote was misleading in that context, because the preceeding text referred to Bast's second book, Surviving James Dean, but the quote was from David Dalton's book, James Dean: The Mutant King. It's misleading to say, "However, he {Bast] concludes..." followed by a quote from a completely different book, not even written by Bast, a quote of words Bast spoke in the period before he made the revelations of his second book. Carlstak (talk) 06:06, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Instead of again claiming he lied, as you just did, simply provide a quote by Bast directly implying that his previous statement was wrong. You, or another editor above, apparently have the book. --Light show (talk) 06:18, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
It's amazing how impervious to information someone attached to a text can be. Bast did not conclude in his second Dean book that "Jimmy was a dabbler, he was learning through experiment... But to say he was gay? That's ridiculous." David Dalton quoted Bast saying those words in THe Mutant King, published in 1974. I removed the quote because to place it at the end of a paragraph describing the content of Bast's Surviving James Dean, published in 2006, with the words "Bast concludes..." is misleading, to say the least. Carlstak (talk) 07:06, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
As a side note, David Dalton is an entertaining writer, albeit given to wild flights of pseudomystical fancy and dubious conjecture. He is a useful source, but not always the most careful researcher, and not authoritative. The "Jimmy was a dabbler..." quote is found on page 151 of The Mutant King [2]. Carlstak (talk) 07:24, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Great! Now both Bast and Dalton lied. You should restore Bast's quote for better chronology, and replace "concluded" with some other word. After that, you can remove that totally misleading paragraph where you someone quotes Germaine Greer having called him "queer as a coot," meaning strange and odd, and is misrepresented as saying he was gay. That's not what she meant. --Light show (talk) 07:30, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
You are not paying attention at all, and misrepresenting me. I didn't add the quote from Germain Greer (the content of which I don't agree with, as it is unwarranted from the information we have). A simple glance at the article's edit history would have shown you that. I've never had a problem with the quote from Bast itself: "Jimmy was a dabbler, he was learning through experiment... But to say he was gay? That's ridiculous.", except for the previous version's italicized emphasis which is not present in Dalton's text. I object, as I've said repeatedly here, to appending a quote from an interview Bast gave c. 1974 to the end of a paragraph describing assertions he made in his book published in 2006, thus leading the uninformed reader to believe that it was the conclusion of his points. Also, the actual conclusion of Bast's book, Surviving James Dean, of which I have a copy, is the last two sentences of the epilogue, which says,"'Honey, she drawled, "Never make a long-term commitment. All that love stuff don't last. You start out lovers, and you wind up sisters.' / Looking back, there's one thing I can say for sure. I never imagined myself as James Dean's sister." So the actual conclusion of Bast's revelatory book strongly implies that he and Dean were lovers. Carlstak (talk) 15:33, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
"Strongly implies" is, again, synth. With all the reliable full bios about him, if that's all we have -sisterhood - then the entire section about a so-called "debate" is a sham, IMO, like Greer's quote, which is now attributed to others. As suggested, Bast's quote can be placed where it's chronological and the word "conclude" can be changed to whatever, all in about 1/20th of the time it probably took you to respond. --Light show (talk) 17:48, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Your belligerent attitude is uncalled for, and not conducive to civilized discussion. You falsely attributed an edit to me, and come in ordering which changes should be made. I'm doing the research to write an accurate text, which we previously did not have. You're missing the point entirely that the section in its previous state gave a false impression, and shouldn't stand. You're not Jimbo Wales, so please dismount your high horse. Carlstak (talk) 19:18, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Good point: change a false impression with an even more misleading and different false impression. I never considered that aspect. --Light show (talk) 20:35, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't see where Carlstak stated that Bast lied. Either way, the fact remains that Bast contradicted himself on Dean's sexuality, if Bast made both of the aforementioned comments; whether you want to call that lying or something else is your decision. But we obviously should not state in the article that Bast lied, and we obviously have not. Instead of lying, it could have simply been Bast believing at the time that Dean was not gay, and then believing that Dean was gay. Whatever the case is, it should be supported in the article by WP:Reliable sources if it is added to the article. Flyer22 (talk) 06:25, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Provide a quote as stated instead of playing shrink. Some might think it's reasonable to assume that when your roommate, Dean, steals your girlfriend, and she then tells you, "It's Jimmy and me. I mean, we're in love," that he's probably not gay. Nor was Bast at that time, obviously. In any case, Bast would have every reason to be bothered to see some anonymous editors insisting that he lied. --Light show (talk) 06:51, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
And yet again you prove why you are a net negative for this article. Flyer22 (talk) 06:54, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Bast was a closeted homosexual in 1956, when he published the first book. By the time of the TV movie about James Dean that he was involved in, Bast included unmistakable elements (signalling) that Dean had had gay sex and knew the gay subculture. By the 21st Century, Bast had retired from the industry, was not "out" as a gay man, and wrote a new memoir in which he didn't hold back. I read the book, and in fact, Bast not only makes a strong case for Dean as gay, but says that Dean was thinking of shacking up with him before his death. Let's remember, Rock Hudson (a closeted gay man as was Tab Hunter, both mentioned in this article as being forced by their studios and publicists to go out on dates with women, as did Dean) denied he was homosexual up to his death, and his gay friends denied he was gay even after his death from AIDS. Those were different times, and Bast was raised in those times. he was no militant lie Gore Vidal or Truman Capote who said "screw you!" even back in the 1950s. Homophobia was very real and could destroy your career.William (The Bill) Blackstone (talk) 22:23, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
There are gay guys, there are straight guys, and then there's the category of wild-young-guys-who-want-to-experience-everything, like Artur Rimbaud and Tom Hardy, a couple of the Rolling Stones, James Dean and many others. It doesn't really matter what Bast thinks or doesn't think about Dean's sexuality, or when he thought it. James Dean himself put his orientation as clearly as anyone could: "I'm not homosexual, but I'm not going to live with one hand tied behind my back." In other words, he was a bisexual who almost certainly preferred women. He was engaged to Pier Angeli at the time of his death. Younggoldchip (talk) 16:25, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, Pier Angeli had already married Vic Damone on November 24, 1954, ten months before Dean was killed. The notion that human sexuality is cut and dried, black and white, and you're either straight or gay or bisexual or asexual is wrong-headed. Sexual expression is fluid and variable, and plenty of guys who identify as "straight" have had sex with another guy. It's silly to debate whether or not James Dean was straight, gay or bisexual. James Dean almost certainly had sex with other guys, but that doesn't make him one or the other – James Dean was simply human. Carlstak (talk) 17:44, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Porn Star Influence

There is a porn star who goes by James Deen. His hair looks similar to that of the late actor. [3] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 143.228.129.9 (talk) 02:25, 21 April 2008‎ (UTC)

Another James Dean movie

Recently, my son and I went to a used movie/bookstore and found and unheard of movie that had James Dean in it. It is called "Hill Number One." It is a movie about the cruxifiction of Jesus Christ. He plays a small role in the movie, but it is well worth mentioning. Can anyone add it in for me? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.228.35.121 (talk) 03:42, 24 June 2009‎ (UTC)

External links modified

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Photo for the main page

i'm sure the bloke who drove into dean wasn't called turnupspeed It was Turnuseed, not "speed'.... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.190.64.46 (talk) 16:11, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Look again. The text says "Turnupseed", not "Turnupspeed". Donald "Turnupseed" was his actual name, and not a misprint. Carlstak (talk) 15:37, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Unattributed quote

The article contains a quote that says "death appeared to have been instantaneous", but there is no clear identification of who is being quoted. Is it a quote from the woman who took his pulse who is mentioned in the same sentence, or is it a quote from some other person or from some report document? —BarrelProof (talk) 20:31, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Rebel without a Cause

Hello, I'm very glad that the movie 'Rebel without a cause is mentioned in Dean's movie list, however I believe that the description of the movie should be a lot bigger. I'm a huge 'greaser' fanatic and love watching any movie that reflects the Greaser lifestyle. I know for sure that 'Rebel without a cause is one of the early movies that inspired the greaser sub-culture within teenage youth in the 1950's. In the movie Rebel without a cause James 'Jim Stark' is a troubled teenager from a 'good' family that constantly keeps moving , he starts a new high school to meet the wrong type of group (look like greasers). He has a fight with butch for popping his tire on his car and almost wins. Butch sees that Jim is brave and challenges him to a 'chicky-run' witch results in Butch dying. Jim in shock confronts his dad for not standing up to his mom and leaves to a abandoned mention with a pretty girl and 'Playdo' (unpopular weird kid ) to relax. Butch's old group comes to beat Jim and his friends in the mansion for revenge. Playdo looses it and uses a pistol to protect himself against the bad boys (greasers)! Police and people hear gunshots coming from the mansion and shoot Playdo for not dropping the gun. None of the greasers die and Jim's Dad finally stands up with Jim to overcome his friends death. Jim's new girlfriend comes with him to comfort him and leave the area. This is just a quick wrap up of the Movie, but please watch the movie and add that this movie changed teenagers forever and introduced a new generation of troubled youth while also being a Warner Bros classic. Thank you for your time. Acegreasersebastian (talk) 20:54, 19 January 2017 (UTC)